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Some groups combine the third (summit) day and the fourth (descend) day. This is entirely possible, but does mean that the summit day is very lengthy, since you must descend right off the mountain in the same day.
Hiking Time: 4 -5 hours
From the Momela Gate cross the Ngare Nanyuki River and follow the track into the forest. The sacred Fig Tree Arch is reached after an hour. After reaching Miriakamba, you can walk to Meru Crater Floor (a 2 to 3 hour return trip) either in the afternoon of Day 1 or before the start of Day 2. The path across the floor leads to Njeku Camp (an old forest station) and Njeku viewpoint on a high cliff overlooking a waterfall, with excellent views of the Ash Cone and the entire extent of the crater
Hiking Time: 2 and 3 hours
From Miriakamba, the path climb steeply up through pleasant glades between the trees to rich Tope la Mbogo (Buffalo Swamp) after 45mins and Mgongo wa Tembo (Elephant Ridge) after another 30mins. Continue through some open grassy clearings and over several stream beds (usually dry) to Saddle Hut. From Saddle Hut, you can walk up to Little Meru 3820 meters in about an hour on a clear path. Allow 45minutes to get back to Saddle Hut.
Hiking Time: 9 â€“ 11hrs
Start ascends early morning 2am to 3am to reach the summit 4566meters in time to the sun rising from behind Kilimanjaro. This is 5km climb up 996m to the peak, followed by descent to Miriakamba Hut for the evening.